13 Best Client & Customer Portal Software in 2023

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client / customer portal software

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

This popular saying by Warren Buffet holds a lot of truth for companies who want to build brand loyalty with a memorable customer service experience. 

Customers today won’t invest in a service that doesn’t meet their standards for response times and active support. That’s where a client portal comes in to maintain customer satisfaction and the productivity of your support team. 

In this blog, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to select a client portal software that can set your customers up for success.

What is Client Portal Software?

A client portal is a single source of truth that your customers can turn to for finding information, asking for help, and carrying out various operational services with your company. This portal is a secure and accessible window for self-service support and organized communication across teams.

Instead of waiting for an email or phone call from a Customer Success Manager, a client portal helps customers act quickly and independently if they stumble across basic challenges. You would also provide them with a centralized system to manage complex support tickets, collaborative projects, large file transfers, billing, and more.

7 Features of Customer Portal Software

42% of customers would pay more for a friendly welcome experience. It’s up to you to choose the right tools to help personalize that experience to suit the nature of your customer relationships.

Depending on factors like your customer’s pain points, communication style, project scopes, and support volume, you want to build a portal that prioritizes the features they’re most likely to use. Use this list of features to compare and assess your must-have elements in a digital one-stop shop for your customers.

1. Advanced, secure file exchange

Nobody likes seeing a slow-moving progress bar signifying a long wait before business files are successfully transferred through email servers or company databases. A client portal lets your team and customers request and transfer important files for easy collaboration and review.

You don’t have to worry about customers sending files over through unsecured networks and communication channels. File management features tend to include security measures set up for businesses to store sensitive information and manage access permissions so customers are only seeing data that’s relevant to them. 

2. Brand customization

Consumers say customization is the most important aspect of an organization’s customer experience. This starts with affiliating all your customer experiences with an interface they recognize, like your logo, domain, website, and colors. Instead of funneling your clients through disjointed systems to submit and receive information, use client portal software to create a seamless journey that maintains the look and feel of your brand. Not only does this consistency increase brand recognition by up to 80%, but it also reflects your company’s professionalism and attention to detail.

3. Billing

About 40% of consumers say they would pay for easy payment experiences. It’s an expected standard in an age of digital wallets, automated payments, and instantaneous transactions. Instead of having clients rummage through a packed inbox for invoices, you can use client portals to streamline billing information and give customers a convenient way to make payments.

4. Knowledge management and community aspects

Your client portal is a hub for clients to easily locate tutorials, FAQs, and other important information that can aid their processes and projects. A client portal software allows you to arrange content so it’s easy to navigate different content formats and topics.

A community forum is an even more engaging channel to promote customer education and drive product adoption. You can use client portal software to set up these forums to create productive spaces for customers to learn from each other and receive an additional layer of support.

5. Self-service support

Customer support is changing rapidly. Gone are the days when you could get away with unsatisfactory response times and blame it on bandwidth. Today, client portals are tailored specifically to make resources available for clients 24/7 with customer self-service support. Features like advanced ticket management, AI-powered chat and call, mobile app functionalities, and more, give you the power to build more productive user journeys without stretching your customer support resources thin.

With a digital adoption platform like Whatfix, customer success teams are empowered with a no-code editor to create in-app customer education, training, and support content that overlays directly onto any application.

self-help

6. Collaboration tools

Besides providing multiple avenues for self-service client support, client portal software also serves to make cross-team collaboration more convenient and detail-oriented. You can use features like automated workflows, dashboards, and tagging systems to make tickets, projects, and important messages more visible to specific stakeholders. This is especially useful for large enterprises or customers that use your service across different departments.

7. Real-time support chat

Your client portal can be personalized with intelligent automation to point customers in the right direction even when support agents on your team aren’t available. Over 40% of customers expect a response within an hour or less. Email is becoming less of a first choice for quick questions and queries. If a customer has an urgent need, they’re more likely to click on a support chat icon and wait a few seconds for a familiar “Hi! How can I help you?”

3 Benefits of Client Portal Software

A client portal software is feature-rich, which makes it even more important to align your team and stakeholders on the benefits you’d like to achieve out of the experience.

If you’re looking to build a business case for a new client portal experience, here are a few examples you can bring back to your team:

1. On-demand information and support for customers

As responsive as you want your support managers to be, it isn’t possible to get right on a support ticket at any given time. Customers interact with your business in different time zones, and working hours, navigating their own crunch times and emergencies. You need to empower your users with resources that help them extract the most value out of your product during their most crucial moments. 

Airtable’s support center embodies exactly what on-demand information should be: organized and intentional. It’s designed to prioritize useful information, like FAQs, popular articles, trending topics, product areas, and newly released features. By covering all bases, they don’t have to risk losing trust in their brand when a customer finds themselves stuck while using the product.

2. Reduces internal workload by deflecting support tickets and questions

Customer-facing roles are demanding, so it’s important to build a customer experience that protects relationships outside and within the organization. This means using the right tools to help account managers prioritize business-critical tasks without having to fill their entire calendar up. 

Teams can save over 250 hours by putting the right processes in place. Ticket management systems are a must-have because it takes the onus off of organizations to track, assign, and organize support requests manually. This simple shift in a workflow can significantly free up time that is otherwise spent on repetitive tasks by deflecting support tickets.

3. Enhanced overall client experience

By managing your most important customer interactions in one place, you’re helping them offload a huge chunk of stress from operating a business partnership. This streamlined system lets your company elevate customer relationships to their highest potential and provide a good customer experience. You’ll always have access to the most accurate information for understanding customer needs during the most turbulent phases of their user journey.

4 Challenges of Client Portal Software

Like any software, implementation is the most successful when you take the right steps toward fully integrating new processes into your customer’s day-to-day activities. The last thing you want is to have your client portal add extra work and complications to their existing workflows.

Here are a few challenges to address so your client portal software offers the best experience:

1. Inaccessibility

Your customers probably already have a tech stack they log into and work with daily. Adding another system to the mix can add unnecessary friction. That’s why it’s important to have your client portal be an extension of the usual systems that your customers use to interact with your brand. 

If your customers log in through your business website, make sure your portal can be easily found there. You should also opt for a tool that integrates with your customer’s business apps so your self-service resources are always visible and top of mind.

2. Poor data organization

Data hygiene can make or break the entire experience. You want to keep these criteria in mind as you feed your client portal with information: 

  • Break your content and data up into clearly defined categories, like use cases, features, topics, business types, and so on.
  • Highlight information that’s popular among your community of users
  • Create processes or automated workflows for keeping data up to date and removing irrelevant data
  • Use interactive or visual elements to call attention to important areas of your portal

Your customers want user-friendly interfaces in line with the standard of popular digital collaboration tools like Jira, Notion, Monday.com, Confluence, and more. Keep your portal clean and visually appealing so you’re not giving customers a dense and slow business platform.

3. Low adoption of new customer portal

The more features there are, the easier it is for customers and internal teams to miss out on capabilities that create the most value. Ensure that all customers and their account managers know how the portal should be used for daily activities. Customers are more likely to resist change when it comes to new systems and processes if they don’t feel supported during the transition or are not confident in your team’s guidance. 

To ensure the success of your new customer portal, be sure to invest in proper application onboarding, continuous training, and on-demand support resources. With a digital adoption platform like Whatfix, organizations are empowered to create in-app guided content and on-demand support such as product tours, interactive walkthroughs, smart tips, onboarding task lists, and self-help wikis – all with a no-code editor.

whatfix-editor-for-custom-tooltop-design
salesforce-adoption-gif
Drive adoption of your customer portal with personalized onboarding, training, and support flows with Whatfix

4. Interrupted search & navigation

Important information can easily be left unfound if customers can’t search through your portal intuitively. Your software should allow you to create navigation paths with minimal clicks and screens. If you have to tap ten buttons across multiple tabs just to review progress on a support ticket, you’ll find a portal more exhausting than convenient. You want to keep your most popular features front and center. 

For example, Salesforce recommends its customers use the following questions when designing their account homepage.

client support portal

This automatically points teams toward tabs they want to keep open. The same intentions should drive how you design and arrange elements in your client portal.

13 Best Client & Customer Portal Software in 2023

Zendesk

1. Zendesk

Users love Zendesk for its robust selection of features, but more importantly, it has a customizable platform that lets companies create personalized user experiences across various support challenges. It’s a powerful tool for companies to build an intuitive ticket management system that includes custom ticket forms, ticket queues, automation, and easy navigation to review past tickets for specific queries.  

Zendesk lets you easily connect different communication channels to each other, such as chat platforms, email, Whatsapp, Facebook, and more. You can also streamline support actions and reduce workload by creating personal or shared macros that help you create standard responses for common questions.

Features: 

  • Brand customization
  • Billing
  • Self-service support
  • Knowledge base
  • Ticket and case management
  • Community forums
  • Multi-channel communication
flowlu logo

2. Flowlu

Flowlu’s platform emphasizes project management, giving teams an easy interface to collaborate on projects, manage payments, and share information. Invite customers to their portal via a link or email and customize permissions so sensitive data is visible to the right people. From there, customers can view tasks, review progress, and view payment and expense history for each project. The platform also has a basic knowledge base and a built-in messenger app, creating an environment for quick responses and high transparency.

flowlu

Features: 

  • Project management
  • Document collaboration
  • Knowledge base
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Built-in messenger
huddle-logo

3. Huddle

Designed to keep files secure for enterprises and governments, Huddle gives companies and their customers a convenient way to transfer and collaborate on files with sensitive data and content. Huddle’s large storage capacity and flexibility to organize files into folders make it a great tool for file management. Users love the platform’s easy search functionalities, advanced file versioning systems, approval workflows, and mobile app to keep tasks and deadlines synchronized. You can use Huddle’s client portal to collaborate seamlessly with tracked and time-stamped content.

huddle-dashboard-screenshot

Features:

  • Custom branding
  • Task management
  • Online document collaboration
  • Secure file sharing and management
monday-com-logo

4. Monday.com

Well-known for its extensive no-code features, Monday.com is a great choice for teams who want their client portals to prioritize project management and a visually striking user experience.

Customize boards to centralize tasks and create systems for knowledge management. Teams can use drag-and-drop functionalities to make engaging templates with different views and elements to track progress, create dashboards, organize information, and point clients to the right action items. You can also automate actions and tie them with integrations across CRM platforms, payment systems, and other customer favorites like Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Gmail.

monday.com

Features: 

  • Project management
  • Collaboration features
  • Integration APIs
  • No-code customizations
Freshdesk

5. Freshdesk

If you’re looking for robust collaborative ticket management, then Freshdesk’s client portal software has you covered. You can use AI-powered recommendations to automatically suggest ticket fields, routing, and even knowledge base articles to send as responses to common questions. 

Companies love integrating their email and other channel communication channels to Freshdesk for automatic ticket creation that support teams can also respond to directly through email. Beyond ticket automation, you can equip your client portal with a powerful knowledge base that includes version control, translations in multiple languages, search engine optimization, and customer satisfaction analytics.

Features: 

  • Brand customization
  • Team inbox
  • Knowledge base
  • AI-powered ticket management
  • Multi-channel support communication
suitedash logo

6. SuiteDash

Companies use SuiteDash for all-in-one functionalities that include customer relationship management, customizable client onboarding, learning management, email drip campaigns, and more. It’s a tool loved by small and medium-sized businesses because it offers a large suite of features that can be tailored to match company branding elements and domain URLs.

A popular feature among users is the file management system with shared folders, file requests, and integrations directly into custom onboarding flows. SuiteDash is committed to making software as frictionless as possible for growing businesses by also using a ‘Magic Link’ login system where the customer only needs their email address to sign in through a link in their inbox.

suitedash

Features: 

  • Brand customization 
  • File management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Instant messaging
  • Project management
  • Documents and e-signing

7. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is known for its low-code application development that can be used across many different business functions. Design portals that look just like your website with personalized branding elements and a custom domain. With their portal page designer, you have the freedom to create custom layouts that are user-friendly at different stages of the customer journey, including sign-in, login and password reset pages. 

Support teams use Zoho Creator to integrate their portal with customer service apps for ticket management, call logs, and collaborative tools. Use their intuitive app builder to create a ticketing system that matches your company’s needs, from ticket prioritization to routing. You can also equip your portal with apps for detailed customer analytics like average response time and ticket backlogs.

zoho creator

Features: 

  • Brand customization
  • Low-code app integrations
  • Knowledge base
  • Personalized ticket management
  • Discussion forums
  • User authentication and data security
portal logo

8. Portal

Portal is well-loved by its users for its modern user experience and easy setup. If you want to create a seamless onboarding process for customers who don’t have the time to learn complex new workflows, then Portal’s platform is a great choice.

Companies can create client portals and connect them to their brand’s website in minutes. Customize portal features by configuring the modules you’d like to include in your customer experience, which includes a knowledge base, billing, messaging, forms, and files. Beyond its pre-built modules, Portal has extensions with popular tools like AirTable, ClickUp, and Loom to expand on existing functionalities.

portal

Features:

  • Brand customization
  • File management 
  • APIs and extensions
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Instant messaging
  • Knowledge base
happyfox logo

9. HappyFox

HappyFox has been recognized as one of the best help desk software around. The platform’s self-service client portal encompasses popular features for busy enterprise customer support teams. Companies recommend using HappyFox for its comprehensive ticket management system, which gives users and their clients a complete interface for generating support tickets, viewing the status of existing tickets, and easy collaboration on specific support requests. 

With the platform’s knowledge base, community forums, and FAQs, your clients can easily navigate through guides, tutorials, and discussions on popular support requests. HappyFox introduces another layer of convenience by making these features

happyfox

Features:

  • Ticket management
  • Easy login process through Google and Twitter
  • Knowledge base
  • Task management
  • Widgets and templates
SupportBee logo

10. SupportBee

Built for small teams to effectively manage client communication, SupportBee’s platform helps you stay on top of customer support emails without complicated onboarding processes and workflows. The platform delivers its ticketing system with a shared inbox that functions similarly to email, but with specific functionalities for routing tickets and tagging them for stronger visibility and prioritization. 


With SupportBee’s customer portal, your clients get a centralized view of all their current and past tickets and responses. Although there isn’t a knowledge base, the easy navigation through past queries is an educational resource to prevent customers from running into the same issues.

supportbee

Features:

  • Portal customization
  • Customizable domain 
  • Private login link
  • Knowledge base
  • Ticket management
azuredesk logo

11. AzureDesk

Compared to other platforms on this list, AzureDesk’s client portal has a simple user interface better suited for customers with more experience using different software systems. The platform brings together popular support functions for enterprises, like the ability to convert emails into support tickets, ticket categorization, and the flexibility to support unlimited email addresses. 

On top of the platform’s existing strengths in ticket and email management, users also find big value in AzureDesk’s integrations with tools like Slack, Jira, Asana, and Freshbooks.

Features:

  • Ticket management 
  • Email management
  • Knowledge base
  • Integration APIs
accelo logo

12. Accelo

Accelo is a tool of choice for companies in the professional services industry looking for a complete client work management platform. The platform has features to help you manage most aspects of your client relationships, like converting emails into tickets, end-to-end project management, comprehensive billing and invoicing, and viewing client support analytics at a glance. 

You can use Accelo to create client portals that emphasize data transparency with detailed tracking of expenses, time spent on projects, milestones, and more.

accelo

Features:

  • Ticket management
  • Customer billing and invoicing
  • Project management
  • Advanced reports and analytics

13. MangoApps

MangoApps is a great platform for large enterprises prioritizing company-wide collaboration and communication. Their feature-rich portal can be customized to include knowledge bases, document collaboration, and secure file transfers. 

Make cross-team communication even more convenient with a built-in messaging system that looks like popular social media platforms. Suppose you’re looking for a collaboration platform that works less like email and more like an instant messaging system. In that case, you’ll enjoy having visibility on projects and team interactions through a  company feed as opposed to an inbox.

mangoapps

Features: 

  • Collaboration
  • Content management
  • Surveys and polls
  • Automated workflows
  • Widgets and customizable dashboards
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Level up your client portal software implementation with Whatfix

Client support portals come in many forms, from point products solely dedicated to consolidated communication to separate modules of a full-blown helpdesk solution. But the effectiveness of these portals is largely dependent on how well users are able to navigate them.

With Whatfix, companies are empowered to create in-app guided content and on-demand self-help support to provide customers with contextual help, in the moment of need. This ensures a successful implementation of a new client portal by driving adoption across your customers.

Learn more about how Whatfix can support your client portal software adoption today.

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